When you hear the word "pandemic", what do you think of? Perhaps the Black Death, or The Stand. Something world sweeping with a high casualty rate. The definition of a pandemic, however, has nothing to do with casualty rates; it is simply to do with the geographical spread of a disease. The WHO has to be alert to situations like this, but the general public does not need to freak out! The panic-mongering by the press has been really irritating me. So far there have been 27,737 cases of H1N1, and 141 deaths. That gives a casualty rate of 0.51%, and most of those deaths were in a LEDC whose health system and infrastructure are unreliable. Of course governments and the medical community can't be blase about risks like this, and there is always the possibility of mutation... But the average person can't anticipate the risks, and so I do wish the media would stop having hysterics about it. Over here in the UK things quietened down on the Swine Flu Watch front when the media got obsessed with the expenses scandal, but now that's dying down it seems like we're going back to H1N1 again. All very tiresome.